WTAMU ‘Seek Then Speak’ program aims to empower sexual assault victims

WTAMU ‘Seek Then Speak’ program aims to empower sexual assault victims

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - West Texas A&M University police are offering a resource for sexual assault victims, aiming to empower them to regain control.

Sexual assault victims are offered two-part solutions by connecting through the “Seek Then Speak” app, phone or website.

Family Support Services is WT’s partner for the program, and the FSS Director of Crisis Services suggested everyone learn about this program.

“One in six persons will be affected by sexual assault,” said Family Support Services Director of Crisis Services Kathy Torotreo. “Think of how many friends that you have. College students have hundreds of friends, so they will know someone who is affected by sexual assault. You never know when these things will happen, whether it’s to you, or a friend.”

WT’s Criminal Investigations Sgt. Barbara Ferrara said it’s also important to know about this program if a victim comes to you for help.

“Many times it’s a third party thing,” said Sgt. Ferrara. “A victim might go to a friend, relative or professor, so it’s very important for people to know the right things and what resources are there.”

After victims receive the resources they need, they’re then asked if they would like to begin the process of reporting to the police.

They can then access an app called “Victim Link," where they are asked questions and can provide as much information as they choose to help officers investigate.

Victims are then given the choice to have “Victim Link” trigger a notification to alert law enforcement or victim advocacy through phone, text or email.

“We’re gonna do anything we can to support that, even if that means they’re not ready to have that conversation with an officer just yet," said Sgt. Ferrara. “If they’re gonna go through this third party to see what their options are, ultimately that may help them to come forward later on when they’re actually ready to proceed and do something. That’s a big step to come forward and tell anybody, especially a police officer.”

You can learn more about Seek then Speak by visiting their website.

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